Giants deny late Dodger rally to win 5-1

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Dodger lineup stalls as Giants pull away late on "Mariachi Joe" bobblehead night.

LOS ANGELES – The Giants were essentially playing to keep their season alive and they came to play against the Dodgers. The bullpen day was largely a success but the Dodger offense struggled and were denied a huge inning late en route to a loss.

It was “piggyback” day for the pitching staff, which usually consists of a mix of young guys and long relief to fill out the innings. Caleb Ferguson started on the mound again and worked a clean first inning which then lead to the two long relief arms in Gavin Stone and Ryan Yarbrough. 

Stone once again struggled, giving up two home runs and three runs over 4 ⅓ innings while Yarbrough wasn’t too sharp either. He finished the game for the Dodgers and went 3 ⅔ innings, giving up a homer and two earned runs. You look at those stat lines and it looks pretty bad, but to only allow five runs over the course of a game gives the offense something to work with.

The problem is that the offense did not have it Friday night. Although Freddie Freeman went 2-4 and drove in the only run of the game for the Dodgers, the offense was stymied throughout most of this one. Freeman was the only player to have a multi-hit game as well.

The Dodgers only chance to get back in it was the eighth, where they loaded the bases and Freeman lined an RBI single with two outs to cut the deficit to two. However, the Giants sent in their dominant closer Camilo Doval to get a four out save and he got Will Smith to bounce a weak ground ball to first to get out of the huge jam.

Doval then worked a clean bottom of the ninth to wrap up the game and give the Giants game two of this four game series. 

The Dodgers are now 94-59 and have 8 games remaining in the regular season.

Here are my three takeaways:

Freddie Freeman Gets Hit Number 200    

Freeman is the first Dodger to record 200 hits in a season since Adrian Beltre in 2004. This is also now Freeman’s career high in hits and he was smiling around first base when he called to get the ball back in the dugout. 

Freddie is the first 1st baseman in history to collect 200 hits, 20 home runs and 20 steals in a single season. What an addition this guy has been in his tenure with the Dodgers…

Roberts Experimenting With Piggyback Combinations 

We have seen many different combinations of long relief arms and young guys flip-flop between roles this year. Now, the Dodgers are throwing a bunch of combinations at the wall and hope a few stick. Friday night, they went with an opener and then two long-relief piggybacks to finish the game. 

While there wasn’t as much success as the traditional two-man, full game piggyback, these different options will be seen in the playoffs and I am glad they have the opportunity to try different mixes with the division clinched so early. 

Mariachi Joe” Bobblehead Night Successful 

There were quite a few more fans at this game than you would see at a regular weekday Dodger game. Now, it is a Friday and it is a division rival, but the real reason for the attendance spike was at the entrances. 

It was Mariachi Joe Kelly bobblehead night and while Kelly didn’t throw, he has become an icon amongst Dodger fans and lore. After Kelly wore the jacket of a Mariachi band member and embraced his name, Dodger fans ran with it and now he has become an icon and keepsake in a lot of fans’ houses after this giveaway. 

Clayton Kershaw takes the mound for the Dodgers while the Giants will probably use a bullpen day as they haven’t announced a starter yet. First pitch is set for 6:10 PM PST Saturday.